Growing Melons & When To Cut Roses

Question:

This will be my third attempt in growing melons. Previously, The melons form, but they turn yellow, shrivel up and die, or they remain small and never mature. What do I need to do to prevent this from occurring this year?                                     

Answer:

  • May is a great month to plant all types of melons along with pumpkins. You’ll find a good selection of varieties available from seed and transplants at your favorite garden center.
  • Melons require warm summer temperatures. So mild conditions are not favorable and could be a reason for your problems. The average summer temperature should be in the mid to high seventies with six hours or more of direct sun per day, preferably in the afternoon.
  • The blossom rot or drop on melons as well as pumpkins, cucumbers, and squash is called Blossom End Rot. On tomatoes and peppers, Blossom End Rot causes the bottom of the fruit to develop a brown and or tan colored blotch.
    • This disease is not caused by a pathogen. A calcium deficiency is one cause. You correct the Calcium problem by supplementing your soil amendments with Oyster Shell Lime, Dolomite Lime or Agricultural Lime but not Hydrated Lime at the time of planting.
    • For those plants already in the ground, Bonide Rot-Stop can be applied to the blossom during blooming.
  • The primary cause of the majority of the cases of Blossom End Rot is irregular watering.
  • Melons like to be kept moist but not soggy wet. The addition of soil amendments can’t be emphasized enough. With our heavy clay, we need to be generous with the addition of organic matter as it significantly aids in having a soil the drains efficiently.
    • We tend to be creatures of habit and water April through September the same, regardless of the weather conditions. Because our summer weather changes from cool to hot, you need to adjust the watering pattern.
    • You need to monitor the weather forecasts and adjust the frequency that is how often you water. This can be changeling as wet soil or soil that goes from wet to dry can cause Blossom End Rot.
    • There is no set rule as the variables such as the soil drainage and temperature vary from location to location.
    • You should determine what the average temperature is for your yard and how often you would normally water. This serves as a baseline or norm.
      • You would increase the frequency when it's hotter and reduce in when it’s cooler. While the frequency changes the volume remains constant.
      • You change the watering pattern base on the weather. The five to seven day or longer forecast available online, on TV, newspaper, etc. should give you a great idea as what to expect. 

Question:

When is the best time of the day to cut roses?  

Answer:

  • Cut roses last longer when they are picked late in the day. This is contrary to other flowers, which are best cut in the morning. Those roses cut after four-thirty p.m. will last up to ten hours longer than those cut around eight a.m.
  • Why? Because the leaf sugars manufactured during the day stay in the leaves at night, nourishing the blooms. In other flowers, these sugars quickly travel downward to the stems and roots.